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Saturday, June 27, 2015

TRIBAL MARKS

Tribal marks are cuts inserted on an individual's face to easily identify the tribe he or she comes from. It is a very common practice in Nigeria. I was told it was because of war, that tribes and parents 'design' the face of their children in case they get lost and to avoid being killed mistakenly. I was also told, it was done to wave away evil from a very sick child, and some represents covenant with the deities of the village before the acceptance of Christianity. Some tribal marks are so 'loud' that it disfigures the face! One day, I saw a  fair beautiful lady, with three long wide vertical marks on both cheeks! I immediately knew the tribe she was from! But at what price? While some are barely visible until you take a closer look ... like mine.


I have tribal marks, common to my people from Edo state. It is just 2 small straight lines on both cheeks. Times have changed and many don't enforce such practice on their children anymore, but, few still do! In this day and clime, it is a crime against mankind for any parent to inflict such on their children!!! This is a culture that need to be expunged out because it adds no value to the person, rather, it makes the person to be so self conscious, which might affect his/ her confidence or self esteem, especially for the females, because we live in a society, where ladies are judged by their appearance first, before their intelligence! 


Infact! It was a topic of discussion with my guests today, and this post was already in my draft yesterday! My guest was not happy when he saw tribal marks on a 10 year old boy here! He pondered why should a parent do so, in this civilized era? We have a casual friend who has 2 long and wide parallel tribal marks from under his eyes to his lips. He is not happy with what his parents did to him, because, it can be mistaken for knife scars to foreigners and that is a negative identity for a black man!


I am proud of my tribe, but like I said in this culture post, some practices are bad! Let us rather improve on the positive ones. Which reminds me; What are the positive cultures in Nigeria and your tribe which you can share with us? 

Thank you for reading.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE

Do you guys remember the comedy; 'Mind your language?' If you don't, then you still be small pickin o jare! I was surprised to see the link on a friend's fb page. Hmm, talking about face book, I have something I wish to talk about ... but some other day. So, I clicked on the link and had a good laugh! I searched for it on you-tube and my week has been full of laughter! 

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Those that don't know the sit-com, it is a 70's -80's English comedy, which had a Nigerian version called Second chance, with Madam Kofo as the most hilarious student and veteran actor, Olu Jacobs as the teacher. Do you now have an idea of what I am talking about? Well, if you still don't know, you be really small pickin o! 


I love the realness of this sit-com. I searched for Second chance online, I came up with nothing. I will keep searching. My kids were watching me and grinning as I was rolling on the settee and holding my sides. The catch -words; OH! BLIMEY! and A THOUSAND APOLOGIES! Always have me in stitches! Oh! My goodness! How can I forget Mr Brown? He is one patient teacher! Madam Kofo made me laugh so much, especially with her gele! I was star struck when she came to our house the first time with my uncle. It pained me when NTA stopped airing the show, I still don't know what transpired, rumours said, internal politics caused it!


I don't watch some comedies, because they are too cheesy for me. I enjoyed 'Malcolm in the middle', and I am currently watching; My name is Earl. Hmm, I just remembered that, I never finished watching 'How I met your mother', so as to know who he eventually married! I will ask my daughters later, since, they started watching it this summer, and having a good laugh. Comedy is one of my fav Tv shows, because, laughter is not only fun but therapeutic! #going back to watch more episodes# ... is it okay, to wish you guys, happy weekend in advance, although it is mid-week ..... ahahahaha.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

AFRICAN SHOPS VS OTHERS.

I enjoy shopping for housekeeping. The first time I went shopping, my carts were full and cost about $300! I was like, for ALL THESE!!! So imagine my surprise when I went to an African shop, with that same amount, I came out with few items! It is like back home, where imported products are more expensive than locally made products. I observed African immigrants shop more in large grocery stores than in African shops. An African store opened some months back, it's being a place of hangouts for many Africans, because apart from the usual food stuff, they sell cooked food also. { it was closed down for the second time for not meeting the hygiene standard!}


I find alternative products to Nigerian meals in grocery stores, except for palm oil, crayfish, stockfish and ogbono. For instance, I use Russet potato instead of yam, blend oat to make wheat-swallow, and buy frozen cut-spinach to prepare Efo. Hubby don't eat okro, if not, I will cook okro instead of ogbono ... nay, we don't like ewedu much. I tried their powdered milk, {I like creamer for Lipton} I didn't like it, so I stick to our type of powdered milk.

African shops are mostly owned by individuals and are doing their best to raise their heads above waters. I doff my hat for them, because it takes determination to stay afloat, in the competitive market, paying taxes and meeting the required standard. Some items perish quickly, like yams that gets rotten, and some items stay too long on the shelf, like ogbono, which will taste soapy when cooked, .... and YOU CANNOT SEND THEM BACK, TO GET REFUND! Unlike in the big stores. 

Hence, many like playing it safe and stick to big stores, because losing $21;00 for a tuber of yam, {the weight determines the price} is not cool, since, you can use this same $21:00 to get milk {$2:84},bread {$1:18}, eggs {1:72},cereal {$3:98}, hot dog {1:50}, noodles { $2:00}, Nesquick {$7:38}. This can feed an individual for about a week!

I prefer buying store brands because it is more affordable, and I take ample opportunity in any sales to make good purchases. African shops don't have store brands and no sales day. I buy my ogbono and palm oil from only one place because theirs is 100% original. I tried in two places before I discovered them. I buy the un-blended crayfish to avoid sand. I dislike the blended prawn heads, they sell as crayfish, it taste chaffy. I dry my fish instead, of buying, thanks to Flo, because apart from being cheaper, some taste burnt and too dry.

I shop at both ends because they meet my needs at different times, but I frequent the bigger stores more. I wish there are big African shops like their counterparts, maybe items will be cheaper and returns accepted. Yeah right! If wishes were horses, beggars would have ridden.  







Saturday, June 06, 2015

THE 41 DAYS CULTURE

I went visiting the newest mother in blogsville, to check on her as our Nigeria culture expects. I was surprised not to find her at home. Where did Iyawo and omomo went to ehen? I wondered, because it was not yet 41 days ke! Only for her to say she went out with bobo and chief. 'Okk! You went for immunization ba?'  'Noo! We went to an enjoyable event', she replied. SHIOR! I exclaimed! But it is not up to 41 days as your Yoruba culture stipulates. She simply looked at me with that her beautiful big eyes and charming smile on her face, and I said, 'it matters not o jare, as you both had fun!' Oh by the way, I was talking about my beautiful Sisi Yemmie ... and the conversation was solely in my  head o! Hmmm, to think that I  have known Yemmie from when she was schooling abroad, then back to Nigeria, got a job, married and now a mother! #Famzing is allowed o jare# 


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OKAY! The purpose of this post, is for us to talk about our culture! The Nigerian culture! Our beliefs! You see, it is about time we should be asking our elders why and when such culture was enacted ... is that the right word to use? Hmmm, I don't know, but you guys get my drift sha? I mean, who and what was the reason behind certain culture? I know culture helps to instill certain order and decency in the community, because without it, many things would have gone haywire. But are they still applicable in this millennium age? Remember, I talked about demystifying some myths here?  



We love eating coconut as children. But my mum will never allow us drink the sweet water, because she grew up with the teachings that the water will not make a child intelligent. One day, my younger brother, said that, it was the only way the elders could prevent children from sharing the sweet water with them! So, we would drink the water, and tell my mum, we threw it away or it spilled on the floor! My younger brother is the most intelligent in our household o jare! Some cultural practices were put in place due to some happenings then, that did not have logical explanation, but with civilization and technology, some are baseless!



I am Esan, some cultural practices need to be stopped! For instances; When a woman cheats, her children dies! Initially, it was both the husband and children, but, the men were spared, only children suffers the aftermath of a cheating mother! A husband can cheat, nada will happen to his children! If an Esan woman marries a non-Esan man,the culture does not affect her, but  if a non-Esan woman marries an Esan man, it will affect her! Not confusing I hope? I learnt in the Yoruba culture that when a wife cheats, her children will not prosper! I asked, 'What if the man cheats? I was given the polygamous answer. These particular cultures, were instilled to control women! I believe men came up with these for fear of training children that won't be theirs! And they were afraid to be beaten at their own game of infidelity.

 OBITO, as it is popularly called in my state, is another cultural practice, I don't like. There will be 7 days celebration of an individual passing to the next realm! 7 days of cooking galore with killing of cows and goats. If a female, she will be taken to her father's compound to sleep there, because they believe in re-incarnation. Then she will be celebrated in her place of birth, marriage and  rest. After few years, the final celebration and rites will be performed! (Did you guys remember the drama that happened with our late first lady, Mrs Stella Obansanjo? ) These celebrations cost money! I am happy that the days have been reduced to 3, and no more returning back to perform the  final rites. Everything is done in those 3 days! Even with that, elders still send message to their sons and daughters to have a land with a house on it to use for their final resting place, because nobody will give them space on their property! A family friend's father, had no personal land. The children, bought a parcel of land, laid foundation on it before they were allowed to celebrate their father. You see, this is why, I like the Northerners culture regarding this issue; they believe, where ever you fall asleep, that is where you will rest finally, well wrapped up, with prayers to guide you on the next journey.  


I don't want to make this post so long, because there are more cultural practices I detest, like in the Yoruba culture, where every child born before a wife is married into the family is older than her ! Regardless the age! And you dare not call such a person by his or her name or send an errand! So, tell me what cultural practices you don't like?

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, June 01, 2015

MY ACCENT

Our accents makes it easier to know where an individual comes from. Some accents are considered sexy, some melodious, while some are made mockery of. The first time, I heard the accent of a Trinidad and Tobago lady's, I didn't want her to stop talking, because it was like she was singing the words out. My accent is Edo-ish, especially when I am speaking in pidgin. Though, I have been here for 3 years, I have not acquired American accent. Forget the 'gonna, 'wanna' and 'ain't' words that I sometimes write in my posts, I was just being a tease. I don't say the words. An Indian man, immediately knew where I came from, when I entered his cab and  he heard me talking on the phone. 

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Yesterday, my accent was liked once more, but, some also disliked my accent. The people who liked my accent were whites, while the few that disliked my accent were blacks! My accent has also removed the stereotype tag on me. I went to a beauty shop owned by a Chinese, looking for  2 similar ponytails, I stood staring at the counter for a while, because I could not find 2 that were same. The manager walked up to me to asked what the problem was, I explained to him, he also searched, there was none, so he left me. I eventually, took 2 different ponytails. I knew why he came, he thought, I was up to no good! 


I love the British accent most. It took me a while to grasp the AA accent. In all fairness, the whites are more patient to listen to other accents, and politely ask to repeat yourself if they can't understand . Unlike, some blacks who will snicker. Even, amongst ourselves, we make mockery of each other accents. I remember, the first month, I arrived, a Nigerian said 'I just got off the boat!' When he heard me speak. My brother was teasing me last time we spoke, why was I still talking like a 9ja? Because, he earlier on  spoke with his nieces and nephews, and their accents were different from mine, especially my 4th child. We laughed and I told him, that my Edo accent, is so concentrated, that it will need plenty of 'water' to dilute it!

In all, I believe accents makes everyone unique.


Happy new month to you all!  



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